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Sociology Research


Professor Jennifer Gabrys is Chair in Media, Culture and Environment, a post she began in October 2018. Previously, she was Professor in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she continues to have an affiliation as honorary Visiting Professor. She has also been a visiting Research Fellow at the Digital Cultures Research Lab in the Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany.

Since 2013, she has been the Principal Investigator on the ERC-funded project ‘Citizen Sense’ -- a pioneering investigation into the public engagement with environmental sensing technologies and citizen-data generation in both urban and rural locations in the US and the UK. Gabrys has been awarded an ERC Proof of Concept grant, ‘AirKit’ (2018-2019), to further develop Citizen Sense research. The Citizen Sense project has received multiple awards, including the John Ziman award for public engagement in science and technology awarded by the European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST) in 2018.

Gabrys received her PhD from McGill University, and her MLA and BA from the University of Minnesota.

Research Interests

In her research, Gabrys addresses a number of crucial interfaces between digital technology, citizen data, environmental media, and emergent forms of political engagement. She is currently completing a monograph, Citizens of Worlds, and a pamphlet, How to Do Things with Sensors, which document and analyse her research with Citizen Sense by investigating theories and practices of citizenship, action and engagement with digital technologies and environmental problems.


Graduate supervision availability and interests:

Jennifer is available to supervise graduate students in the following areas: digital social research, data and society, digital participation, environmental media, environment and society, social practices and practice-based research.

Key Publications - Books

Gabrys, J. 2016. Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press; ISBN 978-0-8166-9314-6), 357 pgs.

Gabrys, J., Hawkins, G. and Michael, M. (eds). 2013. Accumulation: The Material Politics of Plastic (New York and London: Routledge (CRESC), 2013; ISBN 978-0-415-62582-1), 242 pgs.

Gabrys, J. 2011. Digital Rubbish: A Natural History of Electronics (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press; ISBN 978-0-472-11761-1), 225 pgs.

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Gabrys, J. 2019. ‘Data Citizens: How to Reinvent Rights.’ In Data Politics: Worlds, Subjects, Rights, edited by Didier Bigo, Engin Isin, Evelyn Ruppert (Routledge Studies in International Political Sociology)

Gabrys, J. 2018. ‘Citizen Sensing, Environmental Monitoring, and “Media” as Practice in the Making.’ In The Routledge Companion to Media Studies and Digital Humanities, edited by Jentery Sayers (New York: Routledge), 503-510

Gabrys, J. 2017. ‘Air Walk: Monitoring Pollution and Experimenting with Forms of Participation.’ In Walking through Social Research, edited by Charlotte Bates and Alex Rhys-Taylor (London: Routledge, “Advances in Research Methods Series”), 144-161

Gabrys, J. 2016. ‘Re-Thingifying the Internet of Things.’ In Sustainable Media: Critical Approaches to Media and Environment, edited by Nicole Starosielski and Janet Walker (New York and London: Routledge), 180-190.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Gabrys, J. (2020) Planetary health in practice: sensing air pollution and transforming urban environmentsHumanities and Social Sciences Communications 7, Article number: 35 (2020) 

Pritchard, H., Gabrys, J., Houston, L. 2018. “Re-Calibrating DIY: Testing Participation across Dust Sensors, Fry Pans and Environmental Pollution,” New Media & Society (doi: 10.1177/1461444818777473), 1-20.

Gabrys, J. 2017. “Citizen Sensing, Air Pollution and Fracking: From ‘Caring about Your Air’ to Speculative Practices of Evidencing Harm.” Sociological Review, 65, no. 2, "Care and Policy" monograph series, 172-192.

Gabrys, J., Pritchard, H. and Barratt, B. 2016. “Just Good Enough Data: Figuring Data Citizenships through Air Pollution Sensing and Data Stories." Big Data & Society, 3, no. 2, 1-14.

Gabrys, J. 2014. “Programming Environments: Environmentality and Citizen Sensing in the Smart City.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 32, no. 1, 30-48.

Key Publications - Other

Gabrys, J. A Cosmopolitics of Energy: Diverging Materialities and Hesitating Practices. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space

Grants and Projects

Gabrys, J. (PI) Smart Forests: Transforming Environments into Social-Political Technologies. ERC Consolidator Grant (2020-2025): €1.99m

Van Oudheusden, M. and Gabrys, J. (PI) GRACE - Grassroots Citizen Science for Global Data Environments Project. European Commission (EC) Marie Curie Award (2019-2021): €224,934

Gabrys, J. (PI) AirKit. European Research Council (ERC) Proof of Concept Grant (2018-2019): £150,000

Gabrys, J. (CI) Sustainability Invention and Energy Demand Reduction: Co-Designing Communities and Practice. ESRC/RCUK Energy Research Programme (2011-2014): £974,133


Ziman Award (2018), European Association for the Study of Science and Technology (EASST), for a “collaborative promotion of public interaction with science and technology,” awarded to the Citizen Sense project collective

Goldsmiths Warden’s Annual Public Engagement Award (2018), Winner in the Established Researcher category for Citizen Sense’s “Deptford Data Stories”

Job Title:
Chair in Media, Culture and Environment
Professor Jennifer Gabrys